LXX RISE OF NADIR KULI 341 that he should himself proceed to Meshed. There he pleaded that as a loyal servant he was bound to defend his master's honour, and Malik Mahmud not only pardoned him, but gave him a robe of honour. Shortly after this event Nadir married his master's daughter, who subsequently became the mother of the unfortunate Riza Kuli. Upon the death of Baba Ali, for which according to some accounts Nadir was responsible, he succeeded to the governorship of Abivard. Service under Malik Mahmud.—The rise to power of a clever, resolute leader of men was speedy in those troublous times, and Nadir Kuli was soon employed by Malik Mahmud to attack the raiding Uzbegs. He distinguished himself by winning a battle, but, having exhibited too much freedom in claiming the deputy- governorship of Khorasan as his promised reward, he was beaten and then dismissed. . His experience as a leader of mounted troops serving ^ith artiller^ and with infantry armed with muskets must -ftave been of great value as a preparation for his future career. His Capture of Kalat and Nishapur.—After suffering this reverse of fortune, Nadir, like his great prototype Yakub bin Lays, became a robber. His ability and success soon brought him recruits, and during the period of anarchy which followed the capitulation of Isfahan he collected a large force of men and began to levy contribu- tions in Khorasan. He also obtained possession of Kalatx and, secure in this impregnable fortress, destined to become famous as Kalat-i-Nadiri, he was in a very different position from the ordinary leader of a gang of robbers, and his influence spread far and wide. But Nadir was not content to remain a mere brigand, and shortly after possessing himself of Kalat he decided to attack Nishapur, held at that time by the troops of Malik Mahmud. He first of all surprised and cut to pieces a foraging party six hundred strong, and then lured the main body of the garrison into an ambush and destroyed it. Nishapur opened its gates and was occupied 1 Said Ali Khan, my local authority, states that the story according to which Kalat was held by Nadir's uncle is entirely unfounded, and I have adopted his views on the subject.